Location: New England, United States

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The First Evangelists

"And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?' And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, 'Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." Mark 16:1-8

When Jesus started his ministry, he chose twelve men to disciple. Jesus spent three years living with these men; teaching them his ways. Others joined the group of followers; especially women, and therein lies the distinction. The twelve disciples were chosen by God, but these women chose God. It was their decision to follow him. So too, while the disciples cowered far away from the crucifixation and for days afterward, these women marched forward in courage once again, to anoint the body of their Teacher.

Jesus did not forget the courage and faith of these women, and he rewarded them well. It was the women who witnessed the miracle of the resurrection. The angel told the women to tell Peter that Jesus was going before them. Jesus was going before the women, and it was those bold women that the angel commanded to "Go Tell." The women became the first evangelists.


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